Families Day Out Are a Big Mistake #9: You’d Have Thought I’d Have Learnt By Now

Why do I keep doing it to myself? Inspired by perfect pictures of other people and their kids doing outdoorsy stuff on sunny spring afternoons I think ‘We could – should – do that too.’ 

And thus it was that I set off for the bluebell woods at Foxley for an afternoon of sunny springtime loveliness. The Internet had made it sound delightful. 

But then the Internet can make Tinder or extreme radicalism or Dominos pizza sound like a good idea. I should have known better.

The best part of an hour to get there. The best part of the trip. Unless you like good music – we had Now That’s What I Call a Party! on the CD player. The playlist is terrible. But then I’m probably not its target audience.


No, Noodles and Boo are its target and every good record label knows who calls the shots on medium to long car journeys, if only because driving to the tunes of a school disco is preferable to the sound of whinging.

My eardrums may have been bleeding, but we arrived in one piece and with no one covered in vomit – well, that’s one up on last time! We really shouldn’t have got out of the car.

‘I don’t want to be heeeeeere.’ Boo whinged from the off. ‘I want to go hooooommmme.’

It didn’t then help that she promptly walked into a car’s wing mirror.


Noodles was all right though. He ran off ahead, as is his style…

 …and then decided it was a good idea to launch himself at the biggest, dirtiest muddy puddles and to play with an electric fence.

When I’d let him do neither he joined in with Boo’s chorus: ‘Go home! Go home! Go home!’

The path was a bog. Both were in shoes (Noodles having trashed his boots at the beach a few months ago when depth perception of the sea and the concept of ‘paddling’ we’re both beyond him; Boo had left her wellies in the car). Boo freaked out at a butterfly. I called it a day.
We’d been there all of 15 minutes.

I decided to take them to Tesco instead. Ha! That’ll teach them! And at least their glum little faces fit right in with the other customers.

We did catch a glimpse of some bluebells in the woods. But was it worth the 2-hour round trip? Let’s just say next time I’m going alone.


And I’m not going to think my family as being capable of playing keep-up with the other families on Facebook. We’re clearly a different breed.


16 thoughts on “Families Day Out Are a Big Mistake #9: You’d Have Thought I’d Have Learnt By Now”

    1. They are adorable. But they’re also brats. Or maybe I’m just an evil mum, making them enjoy a beautiful sunny day soaking up one of nature’s wonders. What was I thinking?! 😉

      1. I brought my kids to DISNEY when they were young thinking what an amazing time we would have…all they wanted to do was swim in the hotel pool….I could have saved a ton of money and just took them to the nearest hotel with a pool for a week lol
        It’s funny when you reminisce about it when they are older lol

      2. I found bluebells in my back garden this evening. I could have just stayed home and let Noodles chuck water about on the patio. Maybe I’ll learn one day.

    1. I suppose we did better than a friend who slammed the car door on her finger as soon as they arrived on their family day out at a nature reserve and cut it so badly they had to immediately abort the trip and go to A&E instead. In hindsight walking into a wing mirror is a breeze.

  1. Awesome…..you will never learn because you will never stop trying to give them the storybook childhood…..too bad they’re not reading the right storybook! Nice try though……

    1. That would definitely be the worst choice I could possibly make. Some kids lap it up, but mine just aren’t designed for the outdoors. And, tbh, unless by ‘outdoors’ you mean a combination of sun lounger, pool and cocktail then neither do I.

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